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Archive for the ‘Tōgane 市’ Category

Job 1: GEOS

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 24, 2015

November 2005 – November 2006

Somewhere in Chiba City

Overseas Jobs

After spending more than a year as Mark’s housewife, I’ve decided to get a job. In a few weeks of writing this, I will take a trip to Okayama for 5 days of orientation. I’ve been through many orientations so I thought it would be a good idea to talk about them and all the overseas jobs I’ve had. I will talk about the good and bad and give any advice I can.

The manager of my school and me goofing off.

My first job was in Japan with a company called GEOS. It was the type of school called an eikaiwa. I know they went bankrupt a few years back, but I’m unsure whether or not they still have schools running in Japan. I first applied to NOVA, but I completely bombed during the interview.

true story

I was just finishing my course at the University of Manchester in England. I went to a jobs’ fair and talked to some people at the NOVA booth. I handed them my resume, which was really written with getting a job in mathematics in mind. They didn’t seem to care. Soon they called me to come down to London for an interview.

It was my first job interview ever. I had no idea that there was a game to be played and I was totally unprepared. Back then, I thought I should look my best and answer all the questions honestly. If I were the right person for the job, which I was sure I was, I would be hired. During the interview when I was asked what my greatest weakness was, I told them the truth. I did not know I was supposed to give an answer like, “My greatest weakness is that I demand greatness from myself and I’m always trying to impress my boss.”

After not getting the job, I complained to a friend how the people at NOVA clearly made a mistake. He agreed that they had missed something good in not hiring me. Then he asked about the interview. He asked me how I had prepared and how I had answered the questions the NOVA people asked.

“Prepared? I’m just qualified for the job. What else do I need to do?”

I had a lot to learn.

bam!

The next interview was with GEOS in July 2006. This time I was prepared. I knew more about the company, the job, and I even looked up what questions they might ask me during the interview. I practiced my answers until they were perfect. I even had some questions of my own, because I read online that they like that. I spruced up my resume and cover letter too.

All this helped me to appear more confident during the interview. And I needed it. The NOVA interview was a one-on-one interview and took less than an hour. The GEOS interview had one interviewer and 30 possible candidates and took 3 days. I had to look better than 29 fools for more than 3 days in a row.

Even this bunny knows to hide his tattoos.

This was another interview in London. On the first interview day, we sat in a room and listened to lectures on living and working in Japan. We were given some basics on how to teach. We were each given a situation that could arise during a lesson and a few minutes to think about it. We were expected to tell everyone how we would deal with the problem and why. This was easy stuff.

We were given a break before lunch while the interviewer talked to her helpers. One by one the helpers came up to each of us waiting in the lobby to tell us whether or not we should come back after lunch. 5 people did not return.

During lunch we tried to figure out why the 5 were rejected. For one of them it was obvious. He had shown up to the interview with a pierced lip and visible tattoos. He constantly talked about anime and how things were done in Japan. He was clearly a Japanophile, but he had no clue about Japanese business culture.

And, I never punctuate incorrectly.

After lunch we had a test. It was mostly on grammar, but there was also some trivia about current events in Japan. Because I had prepared for this interview, I was expecting this test. Everyday for the past couple weeks I read an article from a Japanese newspaper. The grammar I was not too worried about; I knew my grammar was legit!

I think I had the highest or the second highest score. The other 24 interviewees could not hide their amazement that I did so well. One of them said, “I didn’t even know Americans could speak English.” “It’s the only language I speak, so I better speak it well.” “…good,” someone tried to correct me. I hoped he was just trying to be funny.

Twelve of the people left failed the test and had to retake it. They were given 2 more chances. About 8 people could not pass the test, even after both retakes, and did not continue with their interviews.

One of my GEOS students and me

For the next 2 days of the interview everyone could relax a bit. There were no more cuts until the final one. We were not told how many people from our group would be hired. But, I knew from looking online, that they would hire about 8 of us.

The second day was spent showing us how to make a lesson plan and teach a class. We took notes and asked questions. Then we were put into groups and we had to make our own mini lessons. This would be what the interviewer would mainly use to pick which one of us she would hire.

On the third day after the presentations, the interviewer talked to each of us privately. This, I was not expecting. No one online had ever mentioned anything about anything happening after the presentations.

When it was my turn, Yuki, the interviewer, asked me why I had chosen GEOS over say, NOVA. This time, I knew not to answer honestly and say that I had interviewed with NOVA but was not hired. Nor did I tell her that what I really wanted was to work on the JET Programme, but since I was an American living in England I could not do that. But I was still honest enough with my answer.

In my research on GEOS, I found it to be a better company than NOVA. Both companies were essentially the same. But, GEOS had a better housing arrangement. (With GEOS you get your own apartment. With NOVA you have to live with 2 other people.) GEOS had the better vacation plan, they had more schools all over Japan, and they had a bigger end of the year bonus. With GEOS you got money, but NOVA you just got a plane ticket home. (At the time, the money was worth more than the plane ticket.)

I explained this to Yuki and she seemed to like my answer.

A few years later NOVA stopped paying its employees, leaving many ESL teachers stuck in Japan. Then they went Bankrupt. GEOS went bankrupt too, but many years after NOVA did.

My first Japanese town

About two weeks later I got a letter from GEOS telling me that I was going to be hired. I had to go back to London to get some paper work done. There was also to be some orientation-like meetings in London before we left.

Ten people from the original 30 were hired. We all left for Japan at different dates and went to different places. After our last meeting in London, I never saw any of them again.

I left for Japan in November 2006. I was met at the airport by a Canadian guy who spoke some Japanese. His name was Marco, which is a masculine name in the West, but in Japan is sounds like a girl’s name. He took me to my hotel and then to the school.

There I met the teacher who I would replace. For the next few days she showed me the ropes and gave me many tips. She was a very nice and organized person.

The view from my balcony

She left her apartment fully furnished. She even purposely left some food in the fridge to give me time to settle in without having to worry about grocery shopping. But what I was most grateful to her for, was how all her lesson plans were well written with all the props in organized folders. I didn’t have to do much other than copy what she did and be happy and cheerful in class.

Within a month I had gotten a hang of it and was doing a great job. My students were happy and active in class. Several of them had already re-signed for another year of lessons, even though I was a new teacher. I was even hanging out with some of the college aged and older students out side of class.

I took only a few trips to Tokyo.

About 3 months after I got to Japan and started teaching, GEOS had me go to orientation. One thing GEOS was good at was pointless meetings. The manager of our school was always away to attend some meeting, leaving me or one of the Japanese English teachers to answer the phone, if we weren’t in class.

The meetings never helped anyone be a better teacher. Most of the people giving presentations at the GEOS meetings had never taught English. They were just stock holders or something, so if you asked them for specific advice, they would give vague or meaningless answers.

For example, most of the teachers at GEOS had no problem with their adult or high-school level classes. What we needed help with was dealing with badly behaved toddlers from the baby classes. One of the presenters told us that to punish a misbehaving 2-year-old, we should lock him or her out of the classroom.

“Really? You want to leave a toddler unsupervised in the hallway or lobby? The front door of the school is never closed, what if the kid runs out into the street?”

There were 3 meetings a year and they were all useless!

We had so much fun doing paperwork after closing time.

GEOS loved making people do paperwork. We had to do so much paper work and then fax it all in to… I’m not sure whom. But doing this paperwork meant that someone out there, the guy who had to read this stuff, had a worse job than I did.

GEOS also loved telling its employees how badly they were doing and how much money they were losing. We would get faxes everyday showing us, in graph form, how we only made 5% of the money their best schools did.

I never understood why they showed me statistics like that. What do I care if they lose money? I’m doing the job that I was hired to do. I only teach students, not recruit them. GEOS was supposed to bring them in. If they’re losing students to NOVA that’s kinda on them.

I enjoyed my job. I loved teaching my students. They taught me so much about Japan while I taught them English. Many of them took me on trips and introduced me to their friends. Many of them, and their friends, I still talk to today.

GEOS, the company, was not so great. But, I always got paid and on time too. So, GEOS was not too bad. Though, when I heard that they had gone bankrupt, I wasn’t surprised.


Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to askwhatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
    • The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)

Posted in Chiba 県, Honshū, Japan, Tōgane 市 | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

¥5,000 in 日本

Posted by Heliocentrism on June 2, 2010

May 28, 2010

All Pictures

excited for ramen

おつかれさまでした (Otsukaresama deshita/Good Work)

When Mark and I left Thailand we pooled together all our baht. It came up to roughly 235USD. This was going to be all the money we would spend in Japan. This was great since I thought that we really only needed about 100USD each for a day in Tokyo. I thought maybe we could even save some of that for Chicago.

All our luggage couldn’t fit in the taxi.

As you might already know, we had some problems getting Mark’s passport back. During the time the office was closed because of the protests, Mark’s visa had expired. The lady at our company said that it would be alright. It wasn’t.

Mark had overstayed his visa. When we got to the airport the authorities wanted him to pay a fine. Mark tried calling the lady at the office who told us that it was “no big deal” but she didn’t pick up her phone. When Mark explained why he was still in Thailand past the visa’s end date the officer offered two solutions. He could pay the fine or he could cancel his flight and stay in Thailand one more day.

How would that help? Mark overstays his visa and to fix it, he just overstays it a little more?

We paid 75USD to keep Mark from going to Thai prison. If this were the Philippians I would have let them take him away and hoped that he ended up at the Cebu prison I’ve seen on YouTube so often. But from what I know, Thai prison is far from being that wonderful.

Leaving Thailand

Once the fine was paid, they let us on our way. About 10 hours later we were in Japan, the country in which I first overstayed a visa. And yes, the immigration officer did threaten to drive me down to Tokyo and throw me in jail, but I didn’t believe him for a second. But that’s a story for another day… or later on in this entry.

Tokyo Subway

We had about 17,000YEN after paying Mark’s fine, but it didn’t really matter. We only used 10,000YEN of it between the both of us. If things were cheaper we might have spent more money, but since they were kind of expensive we hoarded most of our cash.

Once in Japan we hopped on a train and went to Akihabara. I’m not exactly sure where the best part of Akihabara is, but we were wandering around for while. Rather than waste all our time at one spot we decided to go to Shibuya to look for Hachiko.

Hachiko, you waited for me?!

Once we found the metal dog, the plan was to walk to Harijuku and find one of the biggest 100-yen shops in Tokyo. A 100-yen shop is basically a dollar store, but way better. I love 100-yen shops in Japan. They are one of the greatest things that this country has brought to the world.

Harijuku = Shopping!

We did get lost a few times, and had a little trouble figuring out the best way to get back to Narita but we made it in time for our flight. We could have stay out a little longer because the flight was delayed for 2 hours.

Don’t look so happy. This is serious!

Okay, here’s the story

I had just finished up my one year contract working in Japan. My last day of work was November 15, 2006 and my visa expired November 15, 2006. My flight was the next day.

It never even occurred to me to check the date on my visa since I was leaving the day following my last day of work. Usually when you get a visa, you are either given more time than you need or there is a grace period in which you can overstay.

When I was stopped at Narita’s passport control, the lady informed me that my visa had expired 6 hours ago. My first reaction was, “that’s not a big deal, right? I’m obviously leaving.” As I was  escorted to a little office on the side, I realized that it was, indeed, a big deal.

You could go to jail!

No one at GEOS, the company that I worked for, mentioned this. There was no memo saying, “By the way, you might want to stop by the immigration office at least a week before your last day and get an extension on your visa, so you don’t get in trouble.” And GEOS loved faxing over stupid memos!

One of the guys at the head office even asked me if I planned to do any travelling around Japan before I went back home. He never mentioned that I needed to get an extension on my visa if I planned to work on my last contract day. Mind you, that I have to work on my last contract day…

My last class ended at 22:00. Narita airport was 1.5 hours away from my town, Togane. The last train out of Togane leaves a little past 22:00. There was no way I could have made it to the airport in time to not overstay my visa.

I asked an officer who spoke a little English what happens next and he told me that I needed to pay a 5,000YEN fine. No big deal. I pulled the money out of my wallet and put a 5,000YEN note on the table. An older,  higher ranking officer came out from the back room and handed my money back to me. “No. This Serious! You maybe go jail”

What? Me in Jail?

The first officer disappeared into a back room leaving me to listen to the older officer’s jail ranting on my own. He held up my passport, pointing to the expired visa. He nodded at it and shook his finger as if it had been a naughty little visa. “This Serious!” He took my passport and the offending visa into a back office. I thought it was very funny.

I looked around at the other people in the room. “He can’t be serious? My plane leaves in 45 minutes. It’s not like I was trying to stay in the country.” No one around me spoke English. Most of them seemed to be doing worse than I was. One lady was crying hysterically. Maybe she was actually going to be sent to jail or at least thought she was.

I’m to pretty for jail!

The older officer came back out with my passport and another man. They discussed my passport in Japanese passing it back and forth as if there were something completely unbelievable on it. Every now and then the older officer would look up at me to remind me that, “This serious!”

How long should we keep her in jail?

It had become too over the top. With all the theatrics, there was no way I could actually be heading to jail. I figured that it might help if I played along. As long as they got this show over with in time for me to get on my plane, I guess I could join in. I stopped smiling and looked at my feet. “Golly gee, I can’t believe that I might be going to jail. Woe is me!”

Please have mercy on me. I am but a wretch with an expired visa.

“Okay. Okay.” The older officer said to me. “You first time. Pay goh-sen-en.” I handed him the ¥5,000 that I had given him half an hour ago. He took out a little visa stamp and placed it in my passport. Then he wrote a little note on the page and handed the book back to me. “Now, may stay 15 day more!”

(The pictures are actually of Seodaemun Prison in Seoul and do not reflect the Japanese immigration office at Narita Airport in any way unless you have a sense of humor.)

All Pictures


 

Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask whatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan. I’ve never been a tourist.)

Tokyo
(東京)

How to get there:

  • 35°40’53.0″N 139°45’58.1″E

From Narita Airport –

There are many ways to go from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo. The way we chose was the cheapest yet slowest way.

Buy a ticket on the Keisai line (京成本線, Keisei Honsen) to Nippori (日暮里駅). This will cost less than 1100YEN and take about 1.5 hours.

You can buy a ticket to Nippori and then buy another ticket to another station in Tokyo or you can buy a ticket all the way to what ever station you want to go. You will check out of the Keisai line and then check back into the subway system. If you don’t have any money left on your ticket you will not get it back.

If you are lucky you will be able to get on a rapid train that skips a few stations.

Website

Cost:

  • Everything is expensive!

Map:


Akihabara
(秋葉原)

How to get there:

  • 35°41’55.6″N 139°46’27.1″E

From Nippori Station (日暮里駅) –

Check out of the Keisai line (京成本線, Keisei Honsen) and go to the Yamanote Line (山手線, Yamanote-sen). It’s the green subway line to Akihabara.

To buy tickets:

  • Look for the English subway map and find Akihabara.
  • The number next to the station is the amount of money you need to get there from the station in which you are in currently.
  • Find a machine and press the English button.
  • Specify how many people you are buying tickets for and how much money you want on each ticket.
  • Put you money in the machine and take your ticket(s) and change.

Website

Notes:

Map


The Statue of Hachiko
(chūken Hachikō)
(忠犬ハチ公)

How to get there:

  • 35°39’32.7″N 139°42’02.1″E

By Public Transportation –

Go to Shibuya Station (渋谷駅) on the Yamanote Line (山手線). The are many signs telling you which exit is the Hachiko exit or “Hachikō-guchi”.

There will many people getting their picture taken with Hachiko. Just stand in line and wait your turn.

Cost:

  • Free

Hours:

  • Always available

Notes:


Harajuku’s Daiso
(ダイソー)

How to get there:

  • 35°40’17.1″N 139°42’13.4″E
By Public Transportation –
Go to Harajuku Station (原宿駅) on the Yamanote Line (山手線). Once you exit the station go straight passed the Family Mart. Soon you will see the Daiso on your left.

Website:

Cost:

Hours:

  • Usually 9:00 – 21:00

Notes:

  • Be careful when entering Diaso. I always go in to just look and come out with hands full of things I didn’t know I needed.

Map:

Posted in Chiba 県, Honshū, Japan, Narita 市, Tokyo 都, Tōgane 市 | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

So Why Do You Want to Join the JET Program?

Posted by Heliocentrism on February 28, 2010

February 24, 2010

All Pictures

Asakusa Temple in Tokyo, Japan

The Japanese Embassy, Guam

The picture above is of one of my students and me at the Asakusa Temple in Tokyo. At the time this picture was taken I was living in Japan and I was really skinny. I worked for a company called GEOS and I was having a good time; not a great time, but a good time.

I had friends, but most of them work for the JET Programme. I have to say that I was quite jealous of them. They had a huge social network. They knew people in other towns that they didn’t have to serendipitously meet on a subway or anything. They also had Japanese coworkers that they hung out with.

My own coworkers at GEOS seemed tired and over worked, but only because they were. They mostly lived far away. None of them lasted very long at GEOS. By my 4th month of working at GEOS, I was the most senior member at the eikaiwa. I had to rely on casually meeting people on trains or in grocery stores or making friends through my students. (Most of my students were around my age or older.)

Lucky for me, I had one really nice student and he had many foreign friends. He would invite me to go with him anytime these friends were having a party. Many of them were in the JET Programme. I am still friends with a few of them today.

One of my fellow English teachers in Seoul, South Korea

Stay Away from the Channel

Then I moved to South Korea and worked for English Channel. When I worked there the company was okay. They always paid me on time, though I did have to check all my pay stubs to make sure they gave me all my overtime. If I did get paid the wrong amount, it was easily and quickly fixed and I would get the rest of my money in the next pay check. I really had very few complaints.

However, as my contract was nearing to an end, things started to change. There was a new manager and new people in charge at the head office. The new people in charge gave me the impression that since I wasn’t resigning, it wasn’t worth the effort for them to be polite to me.

When I didn’t get the end-of-the-contract bonus that I was supposed to get one month after my last day, I e-mail Mike, the new guy in charge of Human Resources. His response was literally to only say, “That sucks,” and not offer to help me. I did get my money after e-mailing Bob, the guy that used to be in charge of HR.

So, when I decided to go back to South Korea, I didn’t trust English Channel enough to resign with them.  I started to look for a different company. It’s a good thing too. I heard from my old co-workers that English Channel stopped paying the pensions and health insurance for many of its employees; this is illegal. There were also been many times when teachers were not paid on time. Sometimes, the Korean employees did not get paid at all.

I just want to make a note that not all English Channels are the same. It’s like a chain company and they do not all have the same management. The one I worked for, was not a chain, though. It was run by, Kenny, the president of English channel. I’m sure it won’t be long before this company goes bankrupt.

Dea Gin Girls’ High School in Seoul, South Korea

SMOE!!

That’s when I found SMOE (Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education). They place ESL teachers in public schools in Seoul and it is modeled after the JET Programme. I enjoyed my time teaching at Dae Jin Girls’ High School. I was finally able to just teach English without hearing about how the school was losing money.

One of my 2nd grade classes (That 2nd grade of High school = 11th grade in the US)

No one tried to pressure me into working on Saturdays, to sell books, or more classes. I just taught English lessons. And my co-teachers were great, Mrs. Kim and Mrs. Oh! I also enjoyed teaching the English teachers and other co-workers.

They taught me so much about Korea. Whenever they saw me planning a trip, they would give me advice on things to do there. Many times Mrs. Kim or Mrs. Oh made reservations for me since I do not speak Korean very well.

So now I would like to live in Japan one more time. This time I want to work in a public school like I did in Seoul, so I applied to the JET Programme. I was given an interview at the Japanese Embassy in Guam. I think the interview went well. Hopefully, I will hear back from them in April.

The interviews for the JET Program are notorious for being rough. There are blog entries out there from interviewers who say that their fellow interviewers delight in tormenting prospective teachers. I was expecting the worst, but my interviewers all were very nice.

I’ve noticed that Guam is filled with nice, friendly people who are quick to offer help with directions or to drive you around to take pictures of Point Udall.

If you do need to stay in Guam, especially if you have an interview for the JET Program, I recommend The Tamuning Plaza Hotel. It is not fancy, in fact it’s a bit old. But the rooms are huge and the staff is very helpful. It’s about 2 blocks away from the ITC building where the Japanese embassy is. The room rates are pretty good, and you can rent a car from them for about $50 a day. (The room rates are better when you book it through hostelworld.com.)  Since you rent the car from the hotel, you can rent it on days you need a car and just walk to the beach when you don’t need to drive.

The hotel is near Agana Beach. It’s a great beach for kids because the water is shallow even far out. But, it’s not that great for tall swimmers.

Because I’m in a bit of a nostalgic mood, here is a picture of the little Japanese town I used to live in. It’s called Tōgane (pronounced Toe-ga-nay) in Chiba Prefecture. There isn’t much going on there; just onion and rice fields. It was a great place to live.

The old neighborhood in Japan

All Pictures.


 

The United States of America

How to get there:

You can enter my country by land, air, or sea. But I think flight would be your transportation method of choice.

I have no clue how to get a visa to the US or who needs one. Just assume that you need one if you are not American or Canadian and check with your local US embassy.

Phone:

  • Use 911 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance
  • Use 411 for information (This might cost money.)

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books: 

Notes:

  • It’s a big country. You’re going to need a car.

Guam

How to Get There:

From Bangkok –

  • The best airline that I found to get to Guam from Bangkok was Philippines Airline.
  • There’s a long stop over in Manila’s airport. (I will blog about the Ninoy Aquino’s shenanigans later.)

Guam has one commercial airport, the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport. It’s near Hagatna.

You pretty much have to fly into Guam. There are not boats, and trains are just ridiculous.

Websites:

Notes:

  • Guam is a territory of the United States. This means that if you are American, you do not need a passport to travel to Guam.
  • If you are not an American, then you will need the same visa to enter Guam that you would need to get into the continental United States.
  • The people of Guam are United States citizens, just at a better climate.
  • You can only us US dollars here.
  • I recommend renting a car unless you are with a tour group.
  • Although Guam is a small island, it is not anywhere small enough to just walk around.
  • The beaches here are great.
    • When you go to any beach in Guam, DO NOT go out to the breakers. They look pretty, but do not leave the calm water. The current out there is very strong and many tourists have died. There are also many coral reefs. Corral can be very sharp and you don’t want to be pushed into corral by strong waves.
  • There are 2 military bases on the island.
  • Forget about seeing Point Udall. Just forget it!

Umatac Bay

How to get there:

  • 13°17’54.8″N 144°39’48.3″E
  • This is on Route 2 in Umatac.
  • It’s just about the only part of Route 2 in Umatac that’s near the ocean.

Address:

2, Umatac, Guam 96915, Mariana Islands

Websites:

Cost:

  • Free

Hours:

  • The monument is out in the open and can be accessed at any time.

Notes:

  • This is the spot where Magellan landed and started off the burning and pillaging of the Chamorro villages. Soon after the conquistadors would show up by way of Miguel López de Legazpi.
  • The land would be taken away and claimed in the name of Spain’s King and Queen no Chamorro had ever seen. Later the Guamese would be converted to Christianity, because they needed to learn how to be civilized.
  • Miguel López de Legazpi would then move onto The Philippines. Mark and I would run into him again in Manila.

Fort Soledad
(Fort Nuestra Señora de la Soledad)

How to get there:

  • 13°17’42.4″N 144°39’36.1″E
  • Once you’ve found the Umatac Bay, you can see the fort.
  • Just follow Route 2 past the Spanish Bridge if you’re heading south.
  • If you’re heading North, it’s before the Spanish bridge.

Cost:

  • Free

Notes


Two Lovers Point

How to get there:

  • 13°32’09.5″N 144°48’05.2″E
  • Take Route 1 in Tamuning to Route 34.

Address:

Two Lover’s Point, Tumon Bay, Guam, USA

Phone:

  • 671-647-4107

Website

Cost:

  • 3USD per person

Hours:

  • 8:00 – 20:00

Notes:

The Story of Two Lovers

There once was a Chamorro chief, who had a lovely, charming, and intelligent daughter. She was so lovely and charming that a Spanish captain fell in love with her and asked her father for her hand in marriage. The chief, seeing this as an opportunity to make peace between the two peoples thought it a great idea and said, “Sure. Why not?”

The daughter, being young and beautiful, wasn’t interested in the old crusty Spaniard. She preferred a hot, young Chamorro guy who liked to watch sunsets while saying profound things. Unfortunately, his family was not in the same tax bracket as the chief’s family.

The chief told his daughter to forget about the handsome guy who was actually the right age for her and to think about the positive aspects of marrying the old Spanish captain. The dad and the Spaniard went ahead with the wedding plans and they both got all excited when the big day came.

Right before the wedding the bride-to-be went for a walk. She walked all the way up to what is now known as Lovers Point to be with the guy her dad didn’t feel was good enough for her. Eventually, her father, the Spaniard, and many wedding guests found the lovers. Her father tried to order her to get back to the wedding, but she wasn’t listening.

The young lovers tied their long shiny hair together in a tight knot. They held each other and kissed one last time. Then they jumped.

It was a long way down. There’s a lot of pointy coral down there.

Map:

Posted in Chiba 県, Guam, Honshū, Japan, Tamuning, Tokyo 都, Tōgane 市, Umatac, United States, The | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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